Eight-day firefighter strike ends - but more action to follow

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack.Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack.Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

An eight-day firefighter strike came to an end last night (Monday), but it has been immediately followed by more action.

For the last eight days, two periods of Fire Brigades Union (FBU) industrial action have taken place between 6am and 8am and between 5pm and 7pm .

And although that is due to end this evening, from 7pm tonight firefighters will not work voluntary overtime, non-contractual overtime or any additional voluntary hours until further notice.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters have solidly observed the strike action over the past eight days; this has not been easy for them or their families, but all firefighters are aware what is at risk here.

“Firefighters cannot accept a deal which rips up the pension promises they were given and creates an unaffordable and unworkable pension which takes no account of the real work firefighters do and the fitness requirements which go with it.

“The campaign will continue until government ministers offer an alternative, affordable and workable pension scheme.”

The union’s executive council meets later this week and again next week to assess the latest developments and consider the next steps in the campaign.

During the hours of strike over the last eight days the fire service has received a total of 193 calls and attended 95 incidents. Many calls were duplicates to the same incident and some were of a minor nature where advice could be given.

There has been no loss of life or life-threatening injuries sustained during the strike period.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said: “Delivering a contingency plan that provided a resilient fire and rescue service for West Yorkshire over the eight consecutive days of strike action has been a tremendous challenge.

“I am hugely grateful to everyone who has been part of that plan, without whom we simply would not have been able to protect the public in the way that we have.

“I once again reiterate my plea for the Fire Brigades Union to meet with the Minister and for both to find a way to resolve this dispute.”

The fire service covered the strike periods using contingency crews made up of non-striking fully qualified officers and Community Response Operatives (CROs).